About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can your major of study improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services?
Essay response by Roberta Flowers
Upon contemplating why my selected major can improve lives of seniors receiving in-home care services, I realized I could come up with so many reasons that it made me excited to share them. My degree upon completion will make me a Nurse Educator. Nursing education is one of the areas that have anticipated shortages in the next 20 years. As a Nurse Educator, I will be able to work in a variety of settings and influence those who will have direct contact with our seniors. It is my hope to advance the level of care provided to our seniors by providing education and resources to the employees of the company I will work for in the home care setting
Often times in healthcare, we think of the hospital as the only delivery method for care. However with recent healthcare changes and an aging population, home care is really the most exciting place to be. We are at a time in healthcare in where those who work in home care can truly be part of something very special. Providing in-home care to seniors often results in a happier person, which is the ultimate goal, but it is also a cost effective method and also a professionally rewarding workplace for the caregiver.
Learning to educate those who choose to care for seniors in their homes will have an exponential effect on this care delivery model. I hope to work within an organization that will allow me to create a positive learning environment by acknowledging and affirming the value in the work that hands on caregivers do in the home. I want to provide education to direct and licensed caregivers that will make them feel proud of the important work they do. This will keep caregivers happy in their employment and seniors will have more continuity of care. My degree will also teach me how to supervise effectively and I will be able to spot deficiencies in practice that can be corrected with educational in-services that I will provide at my place of employment.
As I alluded to in my bio provided, I feel that seniors are the most valuable assets we have in our communities. Keeping them independent at home with the assistance required will help them have a happier and richer quality of life. Our communities need the wisdom that comes from their experience and it benefits our children to see seniors living among us. This will help our future generations to not think that our aging population must go live in a nursing home and that they have value and worth that is to be honored. Keeping seniors in their homes and engaged with life is also a benefit to the family unit. It allows sons and daughters to have piece of mind knowing that their parents have what they need to be happy and healthy at home.
By working towards a Masters in Nursing Education, I feel poised to impact positively those who choose to work in this field. I have worked at all levels of care delivery from being a Nurse Aide, an LPN and now an RN and I want to create a work environment that honors the contributions of every team member so that they can go to work and feel that they are valued by their employer. This will ultimately positively impact they level of care that a senior receives in home. An employee will go to work happy if they have a Nurse Educator on staff that they can go to if they have any questions or who will reach out and teach them in the way that they learn best.
At the end of the day, I firmly believe that keeping seniors in their home environment with the resources they need through happy and inspired caregivers is the way in which my degree will have the most impact for others and for myself personally. The hard work that I do in the quiet hours of the night studying, researching and completing assignments and papers will be fully realized the day that I am out there in the workforce sharing my passion for eldercare in the home setting and just simply getting a smile or a thank you from a senior.
Roberta is in a RN to MSN (Nurse Educator) program at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.